divided loyaltiesEthiopiaFeaturedIlhan OmarSomaliaSomaliland

US Gov’t ‘Will Only Do What the Somalians in the US Tell Them to Do’ – HotAir

Whom does Ilhan Omar serve as a member of the House of Representatives? Depends on who you ask … and where the Minneapolis Democrat is speaking, apparently. At a recent event in her home district among fellow Somalians, Omar asserted that Somalia was her top priority in Congress, and that she intended to make sure that the US government “will do only what Somalians in the US tell them to do.”

Power Line’s Steven Hayward offers up the transcription from the English translation of Omar’s remarks:

“The US government will only do what Somalians in the US tell them to do. They will do what we want and nothing else. They must follow our orders and that is how we will safeguard the interest of Somalia. We Somalians must have the confidence in ourselves that we call the shots in the US.”

Needless to say, this got a huge response on social media yesterday, but there is some context that needs to get explained. The issue at hand is a breakaway enclave from Somalia called Somaliland, which has recently made an agreement with Ethiopia to provide them access to the sea. Somalia does not recognize Somaliland, although it has operated as an independent democratic republic since 1991, and 97% of its population affirmed this status in a 2001 constitutional referendum. The series of stable, elected governments have run Somaliland more successfully — and peacefully — than civil-war-torn Somalia. Despite this, Somaliland has received no diplomatic recognition, although apparently some governments have informal delegations in its capital of Hargeisa.

The recent agreement (a Memorandum of Understanding in diplo-speak, or MoU) apparently triggered this outburst from Omar at this event. Her constituents supposedly think it’s the US government’s business to “thwart the MoU and help Somalia,” which prompted the claims above that the Somalian ex-pat community in the US would dictate our policy, or else. They want Somaliland forced back into Mogadishu’s sovereignty and any deal with the Ethiopians voided. That’s the context of Omar’s remarks, although it doesn’t make them much less offensive. The people of the United States will determine what policy best serves its own interests, not a small community of ex-pats who are here strictly by dint of our own hospitality and generosity.

Besides which, the last time we tried to “help Somalia,” it turned into Black Hawk Down and exacerbated a refugee crisis that eventually brought Omar to the US. Somalia turned into a failed state where terrorists like al-Shabaab operate freely and attack US interests. It’s where piracy has become an industry in the Red Sea, not to mention where radical Islamists have not just connected to al-Qaeda but apparently also linked up with the Yemeni Houthis via connections to Iran. We’d be better off helping the Somalilanders maintain their independence from Mogadishu, and arguably one has to wonder whether we should hope that Hargeisa takes over Somalia and imposes some stability. (Probably not; the instability would more likely infect Somaliland.)

With that in mind, let’s consider what Omar’s speech says about her membership in Congress. An interest in US foreign policy, even regarding a particular foreign country, is a legitimate priority for its elected representatives. Clearly, her Minneapolis constituency wants her to pursue it; Omar wasn’t exactly booed off the stage, as you can see. House members of Irish descent from Boston traditionally took an inordinate interest in Northern Ireland, for instance, and often as foolishly and simplistically as Omar appears to do here.

Omar’s declaration is stupid and offensive, not disqualifying. If stupid and offensive was disqualifying, we’d have ten House members, three Senators, and no one at all in the White House. (No, I’m not going to name the 13 members of Capitol Hill that would remain. I’m sure your personal congresscritters are among them.) Omar acts even more stupidly in promising something she can’t possibly deliver to her constituents, although it probably won’t matter much, given the demonstrable stupidity in MN-05 in returning her to Congress.

But let’s think about Omar’s outburst and her pledge to have Somalia run our foreign policy through the refugee community in light of the progressive revulsion against Israel and America’s Jewish voters and elected officials. None of the latter would dare suggest that Israel should dictate our policies through Jewish voters here in the US, not just because it’s inappropriate (which it would be) but because it would play into the stereotypes promoted by Ilhan Omar and her radical-progressive allies. Omar is the reductio ad absurdum of the Left’s “disloyal Jew” and “divided loyalties” stereotypes, only this time in reality with Somalian as its substitute … which is why this should draw plenty of attention and derision.

Keep this handy the next time Omar and The Squad talk about AIPAC and “Zionist” influence on American policy.

Anyway, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in Somaliland responded late yesterday to Omar’s speech on Twitter/X. Ambassador Rhoda Elmi pointed out Omar’s hypocrisy as well as the cooperation Elmi’s country provides the US against Somalia-based terrorism. It’s worth a full read, and does call into question whose interests Omar prioritizes:

Furthermore, her use of ethno-racist rhetoric didn’t escape attention and left many, with a deep sense of disappointment.

This was particularly bewildering for those who recall similar racist attacks she endured not long ago, of being ”not American enough” and was baffling to see her take a similar approach and accuse the entire #Somaliland nation of “falsely claiming Somali identity.”

Moreover, her ignorance of #US – #Somaliland cooperation in the fight against terror and piracy in the Gulf of Aden & Gulf Of Berbera was shocking to say the least.

We hope the house leadership and her caucus will take note of her public conduct, unbecoming a United States Congresswoman nor representative of the august house she serves in.

That’s an issue for her constituents to consider … sometime … hopefully soon.

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